We thought it would be a fun idea to turn the tables this month and feature DADS, in honor of Father’s Day! What better way to start off the Meet-a-Dads by interviewing our very own husbands, Cliff Smith and Scott McCormack! They are one of the reasons we both pushed to start FairfieldMoms and have been our #1 fans since we launched! Read below to learn more about these Dads and their take on fatherhood!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in the area?
C: I’m originally from Monroe and moved to Fairfield about 9 years ago when I met my wife Amber!
S: I am originally from New Haven county first living in North Haven until I was 10 and then I lived in North Branford for the next 20 or so years (I honestly don’t know why I stayed so long). We made Fairfield our home about 6 years ago and never plan on leaving!
Children / Age(s)
C: Our son Camden is 4 and our daughter Kennedy is 2
S: Emma, 2 years old
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
C: I’m afraid of the dark and I cried watching the Notebook. There, I said it.
S: I am pretty handy and love fixing things around the house or building out spaces. I am very particular about how things are and it drives me crazy when things are not straightened up. My wife would say I tend to overreact a little too much and make a big deal out of such small things!
One thing you wish someone would have told you about being a Dad?
C: That sometimes diapers don’t have as much capacity as you’d like.
S: Honestly I love learning as I go and really have the best daughter in the world that makes my job very easy and rewarding. She sleeps great (like daddy) and is a very good eater, is respectful to others and plays well with kids so we are very blessed.
Favorite local things to do in Fairfield?
C: I love beach days, golf at Smith Richardson, and eating at the many dining options we have in town
S: Family walks or bike rides to town or the beach. There is really nothing like living in the beach area because we always have something to do.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
C: Definitely the fact that Fairfield is such a family friendly town in general. The amount of parks, beaches, casual dining options, and with so many events going on it really makes it easy to meet new people and get the kids together.
S: I love the community we are a part of. We have met such great friends in the past 6 years that have become such a big part of our lives. I can’t wait to see all of the kids grow up together and become such great friends.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant? Date night?
C: Flipside is probably our “go-to” spot with the kids. The dining area is just loud enough so when your kids get a little out of hand no one really seems to notice…or at least I think they don’t haha. For date night it’s too hard to choose! We love the outdoor seating and atmosphere at Molto, Quattro, The Chelsea, and Artisan.
S: Well my daughter loves all things Pizza, so you can’t go wrong taking her to Brick n Wood, Colony, Fire Engine Pizza or Pepes. For date night, we just love staying in town and trying out all the new restaurants.
What is your go-to activity for your family? For yourself?
C: For the family it’s 100% the beach. We are big beach people in the summer. For myself I love getting on the golf course with the guys.
S: A bike ride around town or just going to hang out at the beach with family and friends. The Gaelic Club in town is also one of our favorite spots. I love to play golf when I can and also love getting a good workout in at Rough House Crossfit in Black Rock.
Funniest part that you’ve learned about parenthood?
C: Their little personalities. The things they say and do and the faces they make when playing and don’t know you’re watching. Too cute.
S: Well my daughter is just starting to want to use the potty and every morning she wakes up she says poo-poo on potty and it’s so cute (even though we thinks she’s confused about pee or poop). We will pick her up and put her on, she makes us squat and hold her hands and she says “Look Daddy, doing it” then she will get off and flush! The little things in life!
Best dad hack that makes your life easier?
C: I put a couch and TV in their playroom for me. Best move EVER. Tiger Woods is making a run on the back 9 at the Masters and Kennedy wants to play dress up? Not a problem.
S: Formula at night before bed. We swear that was a game changer and allowed her to sleep through the night. She will routinely sleep past 10 AM on the weekends (sorry everyone!)
Name one thing you regret when learning the ropes of parenthood and what you learned from it?
C: I think this is a pretty common answer, but I always regret getting frustrated or angry with them when they don’t listen. I learned that they are smarter than we think and if you take a deep breath, maybe even walk away and strategize for a bit then come back and just sit down and talk it through with them. You get much better results than yelling.
S: I honestly have no regrets. I find it better to learn as you go as all kids are different and what works for one parent is different than another. As long as I have a healthy and respectful kid, it’s really all I can ask for.
Tell us about what you do for a living.
C: I’m a real estate agent and also run Fairfield Development Group, a residential real estate development fund. Last year we flipped 22 properties mostly in Fairfield and 11 so far this year. I absolutely love watching the transformation from an eye sore that is hurting the neighborhood to the sparkling finished product that a new family will make many memories in for years to come.
S: I am CPA that started at a mid-size Public Accounting firm out of a college. I spent 5 years there and have been working in Finance ever since at a Hedge Fund in Stamford.
If you weren’t working in that industry, what do you think you would be doing today?
C: Growing up and all through college I always wanted to be a trial lawyer and argue interesting cases. I always wonder what that might have been like if I went down that path instead, but I’m very happy with how things turned out!
S: I love doing work with my hands, so maybe I would have been a Contractor.
Best advice for dads who experience the inevitable guilt handling a career and helping support a family?
C: I struggle with this very much. I am often away a lot on weekends showing houses or hosting open houses and I miss a lot of the fun weekend times with them. My best advice is that when I leave the house, I always look back at them before shutting the door and I remind myself that I’m doing all of this to give them a great life. We do all of this and work so hard to ensure they have all the tools and resources to set them up for success later. When you ARE home though, it is important to be present and play with them as much as possible. Make every second count.
S: This is a hard one as my daughter is so young, but I will say that there are more important things in life than your job and your career. The worst thing I would ever want to hear from my Daughter is that I wasn’t around to see her accomplish things. Work can always wait, but you can never recapture experiences with your kids.
Who has most influenced you to be the father that you are today?
C: I was very fortunate to have an amazing father who was a great role model for me. He showed me how to be patient, but firm. Strong, but caring. A hard worker, but always came to my sports events, and always home for dinner. I just wish I was more handy like him haha. My poor wife will ask me to fix something around the house and most times I just call him to come over!
S: Easy one, my Dad. He was really the greatest father a son could ask for. He was always encouraging, supportive, but would discipline when needed. He worked multiple jobs to support a family of 6, but never missed a baseball game, football game, or soccer game. He was our biggest fan in all facets of our life.
What advice would you share with a new dad or other dads?
C: PATIENCE. It’s easy to be a dad when times are good. When the kids are smiling, laughing, and listening to you. When they are crying, screaming, hitting each other, not eating the food you made them, pooping right after you changed them…this is when you need to take a deep breath. This is when you need to be a real dad. The great news is, those bad moments pretty quickly turn back into the easy moments and every time they smile at you, hug you, or make you laugh, you fall even further in love.
S: Well, I’m certainly no expert at this, but I would say to try and stay patient as much as you can. Things will be broken, kids will get hurt and kids will cry. Just try to enjoy every moment you have with them and know that they are your biggest fan.
Cliff and Kennedy
Cliff and Camden
Scott and Emma